Are the Jets buyers or are the Jets sellers
Photo credit:© David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
By Angus Hout25 days ago
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The Winnipeg Jets have been down bad since the middle of January. The Jets would lose to the Colorado Avalanche 5-1 in an embarrassing game. Things started to go south for the club in their 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Jan.17. Since then the Jets have a record of 6-8-0. As we get closer and closer to the March 3rd trade deadline Kevin Cheveldayoff needs to look at this team and truly ask do we have a Stanley Cup contender here or are the Jets truly a team stuck in hockey purgatory.
Should the Jets be buyers?
The Jets have been an incomplete team all season long. Between injuries and a lack of forward depth, the Jets felt like a very capable but incomplete team in the first half of the season. We all knew the Jets could still do more when they got healthy and made a couple of small tweaks to the roster. Even with Cole Perfetti out of the rest of the regular season, this team should still have enough talent and skill to show up to the playoffs and make a deep push but they need to stop with these poor performances.
You still have Connor Hellebuyck who is a madman when it comes to goaltending. This is the best we’ve seen Hellebuyck ever you can’t waste that talent on a mid-level team who forgets to show up some nights. It’s not every season a team will have a guy with a 2.46 Goals Against Average and a .923 save percentage. This is the season to let him take you deep to the playoffs.
Move some pieces in the bottom six. The Jets’ bottom six hasn’t been amazing this season but they were helping to find the back of the net before the month of February. Morgan Barron hasn’t scored a goal since Jan.8 and only scored one point so far in the month of February. Adam Lowry is without a goal in 32 games and only one point in the month of February. I could go through all the bottom six and it’s the same basic story either zero or 1 point in the month for the bottom six.
Their trade value is low which sucks but you can show other teams the pieces in the bottom can perform maybe there just needs to be a change in the bottom six’s make-up. To get some of the better bottom sixers you might need to trade some of your mid-level prospects or future mid round draft picks.
The Jets’ defence has been a bit of a sore spot lately but it’s not like it’s doomed. The Jets have a good group of guys on the back end mostly veteran talent and rookie Dylan Samberg eating up some bottom-pairing time. The Jets are one good right-shot defender away from being a great blue line. The Chaos that Neal Pionk brings in is fine but it doesn’t work for this team currently. I would personally love a trade for Andrew Peeke but who knows if we’ll get it.
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The Jets lack about three pieces to go from a good team to a great team. A middle-six center, a right winger who can score and a right-shot defenceman is all the Jets are lacking. If you could move Lowry down to the fourth line and you can put Blake Wheeler on either the second or third line you’ve got a real beast ready for the playoffs. Neal Pionk is out put a right shot in who can play with Brendan Dillon or Dylan Samberg and let Nate Schmidt find his groove with a single defender.
This is also the last season where the Jets can do this at this time. The Jets have great players on good contracts until the end of next season and if you don’t push the chips into the middle now, when will you?
Why the Jets shouldn’t the Jets be sellers
Honestly, I tried to look at the side of selling at the deadline for the Jets. There are not many reasons to sell your big guns just yet. Right now the Jets could re-tool a few players in the bottom six if you are that worried about this team missing the post-season. Maybe Cheveldayoff bring in someone like Jesse Puljiuavi who could use the change of scenery
As good as this draft is supposed to be, the draft is such a crap shoot. Look at the Boston Bruins in 2015 when they missed on three top 20 picks. The Jets don’t need draft picks, they don’t need to move contracts now and they need to focus on being winners even if teammates are going to be traded.
If you are worried about Pierre-Luc Dubois leaving in a year and a half don’t. He’s still a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. The Jets are still in the hunt with his rights in the summer and if you can’t get a deal done then or it looks like the Jets are chasing a playoff spot next season then trade him for whatever you can. The Jets GM would look like a fool moving a great asset like him now.
This is the time to build a legacy for Kevin Cheveldayoff. Is he going to be a winner or just another GM?
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